Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Recruiting

    A strong recruitment process is vital for the sustainability and growth of your business. If you can attract the right people, who are well-suited to your organisation, then your business will continue moving in the right direction.

    For most employers, this is not their favourite area of HR due to the often repetitive and extremely time-consuming nature of recruitment. Not to mention getting it right can be difficult if you have no experience or it isn’t your area of expertise.

    Many companies now look to outsource support with recruitment and onboarding to take the weight off of their shoulders and leave it in the hands of an experienced Recruitment Consultant. This is a service that we at Guardian Support now offer to employers, so if you are planning on hiring some new faces for your team this year then call us today on 0845 2626 260 to find out more about how we can help.

    Taking on the task yourself may seem like the best option, but it’s very easy to make one of these mistakes during the process:

    Not Asking the Right Questions

    The interview portion of recruitment is often the final step you’ll take before making a decision on who to hire which means that it is important for you use this opportunity to its full capacity.
    Putting together a list of generic questions just won’t cut it if you really want to find the best person for the job, so make sure you give yourself ample time to prepare for each interview individually. This means reading through CVs and cover letters again and constructing questions specific to each candidate as well as posing some of the more standard job interview questions.

    It also means asking the right questions. This means, instead of asking the interviewee of the receptionist role, ‘do you feel confident answering the phone and taking messages’, which can lead to a simple yes or no answer, you should ask, ‘what experience do you have with answering phones and taking messages’. Open-ended questions can invite more interesting responses that will help you establish a better understanding of the candidate’s capabilities and how they would fit in to the team.
    Other examples of the right questions to ask include: situational questions, opinion questions and credential verification questions.

    Not Checking References

    It seems lazy but most employers are guilty of doing this on more than one occasion and that’s skipping the reference checks and going straight to a contract, but there is an important step in between. If you think you have found the right person and are ready to hire then you need to make a conditional job offer which is dependent upon whether the employee passes your conditions – one of which will be reference checks.

    It takes no time at all and enables you to confirm that the candidate has not lied about any previous employment including their performance/why they left, or any other work experience they have included. By verifying the information on their CV and in their interview from an independent, unbiased party, you can ensure that this is not a case of a candidate being too good to be true.

    Recycling Job Descriptions

    You may be keen to save time by cutting corners in areas that seem unimportant but job descriptions are crucial for attracting the right candidates. Old job descriptions are more than likely inaccurate, as even the same role within the same team can vary slightly, and out of date so you need to review the information included in them for that reason alone.

    Though recycling job descriptions saves time in the short term, in the long run you are going to make more work for yourself as you’ll have tons of unsuitable applicants applying for the role and you are the one who has to sift through all of those irrelevant CVs and cover letters.

    An accurate and well-written job description will not only filter out the wrong candidates from the offset, but it will also attract the attention of the very best ones so that you are more likely to find the perfect person for the position.

    Get more advice on How To Nail Your Job Descriptions

    Waiting For The Perfect Candidate

    Sometimes they just don’t exist or the likelihood of them finding you is slim to none so you need to be open-minded when narrowing down the candidates. Its important to be able to see the potential in each person and have the foresight to see where a little time, experience and training could take them.

    Rather than trying to find the person who ticks all of the boxes, why not look for the people who tick the most important boxes. Prioritise certain requirements or experience or qualifications and be more lenient about the ones that aren’t essential because, in most cases, skills such as organisation or working in a team can be picked up quickly and on the job.


    This is hugely important to avoid doing because if you find yourself guilty of discrimination during the recruitment process, or any HR process for that matter, then you could face massive repercussions in the form of a tribunal claim ending in a hefty fine and irreversible damage to your company’s reputation.

    It seems fairly obvious; do not overlook or reject a candidate for the role simply based on the protected characteristics which are gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, relationship status, or if they are pregnant.

    This also means be cautious during the interview process as asking certain questions could be deemed discriminatory.
    We have previously written a blog that looks further at Interview Questions You Should Never Ask

    Mishandling Rejections

    This is probably the most common mistake because it’s viewed as something not worth ‘wasting time’ on doing which is reaching out to unsuccessful applicants with a polite rejection email/letter/call.
    Whether you decide to actually extend any post-interview feedback is up to you but, at the very least, you should notify those who didn’t get the job so that they can focus their attention on other applications and are not left waiting around for an answer.

    It could also benefit your brand reputation and make unsuccessful candidates more likely to apply for a role within your business again in the future.

    If you want to alleviate the stress of recruitment and have the entire process carried out by a recruitment expert then call us today on 0845 2626 260 and we can offer you a bespoke cost for our service

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